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Discussion Starter #1
If you have information to share about the 365 GT4/BB - the first Berlinetta Boxer model, then please post it here.

I suggest to limit replies by a certain subject, such as engine, gearbox, exterior differences etc. Hopefully, through time, this will grow into a more encyclopedic knowledge database.

First off, a simple overview.


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Discussion Starter #2
Overview

The 365 GT/4 BB was an evolution of the 365 GTB/4, better known as the Daytona. Although it was the first rear-engined Ferrari and as such in many ways very different to the Daytona, it was nonetheless mechanically an evolutionary design, not revolutionary.

The name derivation is as follows: 365 stands for the displacement in CC of 1 cylinder. The GT stands for Gran Turismo as this was essentially not intended to be a sports car. The /4 means 4 camshafts and the BB stands for Berlinetta Boxer. Berlinetta is italian for the Coupe body style, and Boxer is a reference to the engine although it is not correct as will be explained in the engine section.

The 365 was the first production Ferrari with the engine in the back, and it was also the last Ferrari to be built entirely by traditional methods. The styling was drawn by Fioravanti, working for PininFarina, who also styled the Daytona. The first prototype was shown at the Turin motorshow in 1971 and the first production prototype was released in late 1973.

The engine was reputedly good for 380 bhp, although this figure is known to be very optimistic and is now more readily accepted to be around 344bhp. The 365 was nonetheless the fastest production car on the market when it was released

In total 387 of these cars were built.



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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Engine

Although the famous body shape for the 365 BB, which was also used with slight alterations for the 512BB and 512BBi, became synonymous with the designation "Boxer", this is in fact a misnomer instigated by Ferrari itself.

Boxer engines have flat-lying pistons that move towards each other like a pair of fighting boxers. In the Ferrari Boxers the pistons, although flat lying, actually move away from each other. This has the advantage that only 1 crankshaft is required, which sits at the centre of the engine. To be correct, this engine should therefore be referred to as a "flat-12" or "180 degree V12" engine.

The momentum for producing a rear-engined road car had, by 1970, reached such pressures that Enzo Ferrari finally wilted and decided to go head-to-head with Lamborghini and other makes. However, the existing V12 engine was not really suited for mounting in the back, and it naturally also required a redesign of the gearbox arrangement. Having had experience with flat-12 engines in various formula 1 cars, Ferrari decided to opt for a flat-12 in his new model. One principal reason for this was a supposed lower point of gravity, but when looking at these cars with a modern eye one could say Ferrari didn't quite succeed there.

In the first incarnation of Boxers, reliability could be an issue and to keep things relatively simple, Ferrari redesigned the existing 65 degree V12 Daytona engine to a flat one. This is why boring and stroke of the Daytona and 365BB are identical (81 and 71mm). The engine has a capacity of 4390cc and uses 4 triple Weber carburettors.

For oil lubrication, Ferrari decided on a wet sump system. This seems a little at odds with the overall design of the car, which for its day had good cornering ability and thus a wet sump system might give problems of oil starvation. In any event, the successor to the 365 (the 512BB) addressed this problem and became dry sump.

Ferrari bench tested a prototype of the new engine and measured 380cv (italian bhp), which was a good improvement over the Daytona's 352cv. However, the engine that made it into production was less powerful and the usually agreed figure is 344bhp. Torque figures released by Ferrari are 311 lbs-ft, or 410nm, arriving around 4,000rpms. Maximum power was very close to the redline of 7,700rpm, but it's wise to shift at 7,000 as engines have been known to fail.

The engine is air-cooled, and because the engine was in the back, Ferrari had to design a radical new way of supplying air to it. The solution it came up with was to fit louvres at the back of the engine cover, which forced air into ducts below the cover which lead to the Weber carbs. It was found that this method wasn't exactly adequate and later versions of the Boxer have more and more louvres, and also NACA ducts behind the doors.



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Just some comments. The BBs were truly radical departures from the front V12 Colombo engine predecessors. These BBs are approaching 40 years soon and yes they are oldies. One hears many negative and horror stories. Nevertheless, seems to me, one of the major contributing factor is the fact that these BBs were not driven regularly. Needless to say, this to rubber parts turning hard and crack. One of such crucial area is the fuel lines and a portion of fuel filler hose being rubber also. (Most likely, unfortunate incidents of engine on fire (literally) is due to this reason. Another aspect is that the original fuel tank was made of stainless, yet many replacements were of steel, more prone to rust and problems. w/ smiles Jimmy
 

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The Berlinetta Boxers debut in 1973 until 1984 and had three versions, starting w/ 365GT4 BB, 512 BB, and 512 BBi and they can be broadly divided into earlier two models carb'd and the last model in injection form. The general trend was more,...more HP, more torque, more luxury, more ease of drivability (???), and more weight. When I was searching for my BB, I came across this car magazine (Japanese) that featured the whole BBs from various angles. One of the section had this pro driver test drive the three BBs back to back for comparisons. I would like to paraphrase his comments, impressions, and "feelings" here for better understandings of the three BBs. The driver stated that he did have earlier driving experiences on separate occasions, but this was his first chance to test all three in successions under same conditions and settings. First the 365 BB,...lightest and most powerful,...the power feel is direct. This is a car to be driven in higher revs to be enjoyed. From the standpoint of published HP, he compared it to F355 which is more "controlled" and refined driving feel and "easy" to drive. Meanwhile, 365 BB did not give much thoughts to driving ease, putting more emphasis to power, resulting in much more "hot character". The best part is the responsiveness and directness of the car from midrange to top end. Being the lightest among the three, combined w/ direct steering feel, fat XWX Michelin tires in a situation of steering going around corners, allow drifting w/ all the fun tagged along. Just a pure pleasure to drive. Even tho it is a "big" car, handling is nimble in conjunction w/ the power feel, is the biggest advantage of 365 BB. His conclusion, he liked this the best. What about the second in line 512 BB ? In short, his comment was that it is as if you made the 365 BB a little "milder" overall. Hp increased, but resulted in less "sharpness". Increased weight made it as if you pulled few teeth, tamer ? Power feel is close to the 365 BB, but not as high revving, instead relying more on increased torque to run. But still being a carb'd, the increase in power feel is still direct and a joy. Steering and suspension feel is very close to the predecessor model, but you are aware of the increase in weight, which can be said the same for the steering and clutch "heaviness". As for the final 512i model, his ride impression, based solely on it's similar appearance to 512 BB, before test drive, ...he did not think the two were that different. But behold, after driving the 512i, his comment was that they two 512s were different cars. The "roughness & hardness" in the two earlier models disappeared and this Bosch K jetronics injected 512 BBi is in a word, a GT car w/ the BB shell. Feeling was more close to Testarossas, which is good for average drivers but maybe a little sad for hardcore drivers. Suspensions much more soft resulting in more sway under braking and accelerating. In summary, the drive feels of BBs must be understood by drivers to truly enjoy these midship flat12s. His final comment touched upon the cornering sensitivity of BBs. The three are different in characters and drive feels and the driver must udnerstand the characters. The basic driving rule's important. Right before making that turn, finish braking prior to turning while still in a straight, and once you're cornerning...turn that power on and keeping that power on...control that rear slide w/ steering to make that turn. Adrenalin time. w/ smiles Jimmy
 
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